Who Makes Your Favorite Stems?

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bluegrassbrian

Preferred Member
Aug 27, 2016
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Louisville
I've had several pipes made by Max Reminsi (Il Duca) and they've all been very high quality material and shaped perfectly for my teeth.
Ditto for Michail Kyriazanos. I've had a few and they've all been wonderfully thin at the bit.
Also love the feel of Scottie Piersel stems.
 
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cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
14,373
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United States
My favorite stems are from Rad Davis. They are thin and flat and a pleasure to clench. I have half a dozen Pre Transition Barlings and their stems are great. I also have 3 1960's Dunhills and they are no where near as comfy as the Barlings. They are not bad stems but not in the same class as my Barlings or my artisan made pipes.

Other artisans whose stems I enjoy are;
Ryan Alden
Bruce Weaver
Trever Talbert
Steve Morrissete
Brian Ruthenberg
Scottie Piersel
Wayne Teipen
Michael Parks
Scott Thile
Jose Rubio
Tonni Nielsen
 

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mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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I'm not as focused and particular about stems as some, though I certainly appreciate ease and comfort. Wider is better, thinner to a point, durable for sure. The ones that come to mind as being especially comfortable are Ser Jacopo, Ferndown, Jerry Perry, and Luciano. In moderately priced pipes, I've always been happy with Savinelli, Johs, Chacom, Nording, BC, Kaywoodie, and Dr. Grabow. Others are a bit too narrow or a little too rounded and less stable between the teeth.
 
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chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
18,668
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Emberland
I do not own a Bruce Weaver, yet. I have a taste for blasted pipes and his are near the top of my future purchase list. What about his stems makes them work great for you?
Creativity and they were made exactly how I asked them to be. Thin bit and the lower portion of the button on the jaw hangers is taller than the top.👍

14538
 
Sep 12, 2019
101
141
California
My favorite stems are from Rad Davis. They are thin and flat and a pleasure to clench. I have half a dozen Pre Transition Barlings and their stems are great. I also have 3 1960's Dunhills and they are no where near as comfy as the Barlings. They are not bad stems but not in the same class as my Barlings or my artisan made pipes.

Other artisans whose stems I enjoy are;
Ryan Alden
Bruce Weaver
Trever Talbert
Steve Morrissete
Brian Ruthenberg
Scottie Piersel
Wayne Teipen
Michael Parks
Scott Thile
Jose Rubio
Tonni Nielsen
I picked up a Ryan Alden recently and couldn't be more pleased. The stem is cumberland, ideal width, and just sits in the mouth without making it's presence known. I do plan to work with Ryan again.

Jose Rubio makes beautiful pipes and is also on my short list. However, since he does not typically take specific orders I am stuck monitoring his inventory for something specific. Did you work directly with Jose or a third-party?

Your mention of Scottie Piersel is at least the third, I will look into her work some more as well.
 

laniromee

Junior Member
Jul 31, 2018
77
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Handmade: Tom Eltang.
Factory(ish): Alan Brothers, but the first ones. The new ones have huge buttons.
 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
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Outer Space
I only have one pipe out of my whole collection that I hate the stem, and I made that one, ha ha!
But, one maker in my collection that has made great stems, button and slotwork, that stands out hands above the rest, and that are my Beckers. Wide slots with lots of attention to detail, no machine-looking slot. They also have very slim width at the wide button, so that they fit effortlessly in my clench.
1494814949
 

oldgeezersmoker

Preferred Member
Oct 7, 2016
1,505
673
Bruce Weaver, GBD, Weber, Savinelli, and the fellow that made my Santa pipe. He makes a curved surface in the transition from bit to button instead of a 90° angle. Makes clenching extra comfortable and cleaning easier.

View attachment 14511
The Vulcanite bits on older Savinelli high grades used what seemed to me to be as good a quality rubber as anyone, with excellent workmanship and careful shaping.

Speaking of shaping, I am afraid that all too many estate Dunhills, Barlings and so forth have lost a good bit of the marks of that craftsmanship due to repeated trips to a buffing wheel, chemical soaks, and so forth to remove oxidation. As @georged has repeatedly said, it is impossible to remove oxidation without removing material. Eventually the distinctive shaping work loses something.
 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
10,442
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Barlings and so forth have lost a good bit of the marks of that craftsmanship due to repeated trips to a buffing wheel, chemical soaks, and so forth to remove oxidation. As @georged has repeatedly said, it is impossible to remove oxidation without removing material. Eventually the distinctive shaping work loses something.
Absolutely true. I have a few unsmoked Barlings in the pile as well as some almost unsmoked and the difference in the button shape is surprising. In the wrong hands, which is the vast majority of them, buffers kill.
 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
18,668
7,200
Emberland
Absolutely true. I have a few unsmoked Barlings in the pile as well as some almost unsmoked and the difference in the button shape is surprising. In the wrong hands, which is the vast majority of them, buffers kill.
My main reason for giving up micro mesh, sandpaper, and magic erasers when cleaning stems.
 
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Sep 12, 2019
101
141
California
I only have one pipe out of my whole collection that I hate the stem, and I made that one, ha ha!
But, one maker in my collection that has made great stems, button and slotwork, that stands out hands above the rest, and that are my Beckers. Wide slots with lots of attention to detail, no machine-looking slot. They also have very slim width at the wide button, so that they fit effortlessly in my clench.
View attachment 14948View attachment 14949
Thank you for the photos, and descriptive justification. Becker makes some great looking pipes. I've never had the pleasure of fondling one up close however. It seems I do need to change that... How old are your Beckers? Other than age is there a way to ID if Paolo or his son was the carver?
 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
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Outer Space
How old are your Beckers? Other than age is there a way to ID if Paolo or his son was the carver?
Mine are 5 and 6 years with another that I am unsure about, because it was an estate.

I posted this THREAD that we discuss who made the pipes, and what it means to the pipe owners.
they were all sold as Paulos, but his son had been making a lot of his pipes. How many years, which pipes, and how to tell... is still a mystery. But, the biggest question is what does it matter, and to whom?
 
Sep 12, 2019
101
141
California
Mine are 5 and 6 years with another that I am unsure about, because it was an estate.

I posted this THREAD that we discuss who made the pipes, and what it means to the pipe owners.
they were all sold as Paulos, but his son had been making a lot of his pipes. How many years, which pipes, and how to tell... is still a mystery. But, the biggest question is what does it matter, and to whom?
Thanks for the link. Given the cost it would be prudent to read up me thinks...
 
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craiginthecorn

Preferred Member
May 8, 2017
1,183
203
Sugar Grove, IL, USA
Lots of opinions expressed here are spot-on. I have to proclaim Peter Heeschen as my all-time favorite, in terms of his stem work. Always comfortable and with superb slots.

I also have a pipe with a Bakelite stem made by Nate King that's unbelievably thin and comfortable. Jeff Gracik of J Alan Pipes is another favorite. All are impeccable.

Finally, the Peterson NAP replica stem made by Silver Gray is an amazing piece of work. I do not yet own one of her pipes, but based on that pipe, she's definitely on my short list.
 

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